Concerns about catastrophic warming
He and diplomats from other countries pointed to another worrisome gap -- between the emissions pledges countries have made up to 2020 and what scientists say is needed to avoid catastrophic warming.
Nehru's negotiator said a work plan to lay out ways to increase ambition before 2020 is "one of the central elements of a package" and "an absolute red line" for small island nations.
"It is the only reason we were able to join a consensus on a mandate that would not see a new protocol in effect until 2020," he said, calling for a comprehensive schedule for parties to identify cost-effective policies and measures to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
State Department Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing said Monday that the United States is on a path toward meeting its Copenhagen target of cutting emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels this decade. But he also said the United States and other countries are unlikely to change their 2020 targets.
Australia, speaking for a U.N. coalition of countries that includes the United States, called for countries to get to work on a 2020 agreement applicable to all emitters. Saying that a new way of framing responsibility "signaled to the world that we would no longer let divisions between parties get in the way of our goal," the Australian negotiator said Doha must deliver a clear plan for the following year's work.
"We cannot afford to take a backwards step," he said.
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500